Editor’s Note: Supergirl Rewind is a new column here at Arrowverse.tv. Writer Sahat Shafaat will be recapping The CW’s back-to-back Supergirl Season 1 repeats each Monday and sharing his thoughts as we count down to the premiere of the all-new season. Enjoy!
The pilot episode of Supergirl kicks off with 12-year old Kara Zor-El preparing to escape the rapidly deteriorating planet Krypton and follow her baby cousin Kal-El to Earth. A voice-over from an adult Kara explains how Krypton’s destruction knocked her pod into the Phantom Zone–a place where time doesn’t exist–and how she slept there for 24 years before finally making her way to Earth. Kal-El, who had grown up and become Superman, placed her with the Danvers, who encouraged her to live her life as normally as she could.
12 years later, Kara (Melissa Benoist) is working as an assistant at CatCo Worldwide Media under CEO Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) in National City, doing her best to appear as a normal human being. We meet Kara’s friend Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) and the new guy in town, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). Kara takes an immediate liking to James, and he even lets her take home his photo of Superman (can you say future romance?).
Back at Kara’s apartment, we meet her adoptive older sister Alex (Chyler Leigh), who stops by to help Kara figure out what to wear for her blind date that evening before hopping on a plane to Geneva. Kara’s date goes poorly (in fairness, the guy was a total jerk), and to make matters worse, the news shows Alex’s plane about to crash. Kara decides to use her powers and save her sister, exposing herself to the city in the process, much to Alex’s chagrin. Undeterred by Alex’s objections, Kara divulges her secret to Winn the next day at CatCo.
Meanwhile, an alien named Vartox is at a diner watching the extensive news coverage of the mysterious flying woman. Vartox realizes that the woman is indeed Kara Zor-El, and is tasked with killing her.
At the apartment, Winn is helping Kara design a superhero suit, and she eventually settles on one with the iconic red cape and “S” emblazoned on the chest (now that is what an “S” should look like). Kara successfully stops a car chase and a bank robbery, but en route to the scene of the fire, she’s hit with kryptonite and is captured by the Department of Extra-Normal Operations (D.E.O.).
Kara wakes up at the D.E.O., where she is met by Director Hank Henshaw. Much to her surprise, Hank reveals that Alex works for the D.E.O., as well. He explains to Kara how her pod dragged Fort Rozz, a purgatory for the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals, from the Phantom Zone to Earth. Basically, Kara was the reason these criminals are now free and wreaking havoc. Afterwards, Alex attempts to apologize to Kara for hiding this part of her life from her, but Kara angrily storms off.
The next day at CatCo, Kara is furious with Cat for naming her superhero alter ego “Supergirl” (oh, irony, what would we ever do without you?) and almost gets herself fired, if not for the timely intervention of one James Olsen.
Kara is contacted by Vartox and told to meet at the National City power plant. The two fight at the plant, with Vartox about to finish off Kara before Alex swoops in and saves her little sister. At the D.E.O., Alex says she had wanted to protect Kara from the Fort Rozz escapees since Kara’s mother, Alura, had been the one who sent them there. Kara is discouraged by this but after watching a hologram of her mom encourage her to be the hero she was always meant to be, she and Alex return to the D.E.O. Kara learns that Vartox is headed to the city for a killing spree and convinces Hank to let her stop him.
The two tussle in the desert, with Kara seemingly letting Vartox gain the upper hand before subduing him by overheating his axe with her heat vision. Vartox warns her that worse things are coming before stabbing himself.
The following morning, on the roof at CatCo, James reveals to Kara that he knew all along she was Supergirl and her cousin (no, the other one…) had asked him to move to National City to keep an eye on her. The episode ends with a woman who looks exactly like Alura insisting that no one can interfere with her plan, not even her niece Kara (dun dun dun…).